Discover Europe: Italy, Spain and France
$4,395 + Airfare + $350 Intra Trip Flights
Jun 26 – Jul 8, Jul 8 – Jul 20
Session 2, Session 3
|Who can go on this trip?||
Students from around the world!
|Places we visit:||
Florence, Montalcino, Rome, Barcelona, Paris, Versailles*
|Optional group flight there:||
New York (JFK) to Barcelona
|Optional group flight back:||
Paris to New York (JFK)
Italy, Spain and France….Europe’s most popular travel destinations are hits for a reason, and on this program you’ll get to discover them all for yourself! Soak up the Spanish sun while going for a dip in the Mediterranean and enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of Barcelona. Witness ancient history come to life while you explore the ruins in Rome. You’ll live the laid-back Italian lifestyle while wandering the cobblestoned streets in Florence, and experience the absolute best of Tuscany while learning about wine and preparing a homemade meal at a private vineyard. Finally, you’ll immerse yourself in the magic of the City of Light: navigate the quaint streets and boutiques like a true Parisian. Four of Europe’s most dynamic cities are just waiting for you to explore their secrets, all while learning how to be a savvy traveler. Join us to discover the best Europe has to offer!
On this program you will:
- Climb to the top of the Duomo for incredible vistas of Florence
- Take on TFT’s famous Gelato Challenge
- Learn to cook a delicious Italian meal with a local family at their gorgeous Tuscan vineyard*
- Walk in the steps of the ancient Romans and learn how the Gladiators fought at the Colosseum
- Gaze in awe at Michelangelo’s masterpieces, the David and the Sistine Chapel
- Explore the trendy Roman neighborhood of Trastevere and eat the best pizza of your life
- Spend an evening people-watching at the iconic Spanish Steps
- Make a wish and throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain
- Go for a spin on an exciting bike tour around downtown Barcelona
- Learn how to make authentic Spanish tapas and paellas at our cooking class
- Watch the dancers’ feet fly during a traditional Flamenco show
- Soak up the sun, sand, and crystal blue Mediterranean Sea
- Learn the hidden alleyways and secret parks of Paris on our awesome bike tour
- Marvel at the Mona Lisa, Raft of the Medusa and other masterpieces at the Louvre Museum
- Stroll the magical Hall of Mirrors, go on a rowboat ride in the gardens, and see where Marie Antoinette lived lavishly at the Palace of Versailles*
- Enjoy a baguette on the Champ de Mars in front of the Eiffel Tower
- Cruise down the River Seine at twilight for a spectacular view of Paris lit up at night
*These are optional excursions.
DAY 1: GROUP FLIGHT DEPARTS FROM NEW YORK (JFK)
As the group flight takes off, the trip officially begins!
DAYS 2 – 3: FLORENCE
Welcome to Europe and benvenuti a Firenze! Here, in the center of the Italian Renaissance, artists and writers such as Michelangelo, da Vinci, Dante, and Machiavelli completed some of their most famous masterpieces. We’ll stand in awe of Michelangelo’s gorgeous David at the Accademia Gallery and tour the Uffizi Galleries, the world’s best collection of Italian Renaissance art, marveling at paintings by Botticelli, Caravaggio, and others. However, art and culture are not all that is in store for us in Florence. We’ll also enjoy an amazing pizza dinner and challenge ourselves to complete a tasty nighttime tour of some of the best handmade gelato places in the city. No one’s visit to Florence would be complete without a visit to the Duomo, the magnificent basilica at its very heart. We’ll climb to the top of the famous terracotta dome for a breathtaking view of the city. And don’t forget a sunset stroll over the Ponte Vecchio, Florence’s oldest and most iconic bridge that crosses the Arno River. Before you know it, you will truly understand the meaning of “la bella vita!”
DAYS 4 – 6: MONTALCINO > ROME
Arrivederci Florence! After our time in the Renaissance city we will head to the hilltop town of Montalcino to experience the stunning Tuscan countryside. For those who opt for the excursion, we’ll spend the day at a gorgeous estate touring the winery, hanging out by the pool, and preparing a delicious Italian meal. What makes this day really special are our hosts, a lovely local family who own the vineyard and who will teach us how to make fresh, mouthwatering Tuscan cuisine. Those who choose not to participate in the excursion will discover the town of Montalcino, strolling through the quaint cobblestoned streets with gelato in hand.
Before you know it, we’ll have arrived at the Eternal City, where a long and mighty history awaits us. As the city streets buzz with antiquity around every corner, you’ll be in awe as we transport ourselves thousands of years back in time while exploring the most important monuments and structures. From the Colosseum, where we’ll envision the bloody spectacle of gladiator competition, to the Roman Forum, which once housed the ancient city’s bustling center and main marketplace. There’s no better way to learn about the Roman Empire than with a view of the city from atop the Palatine Hill – the very place where it all began. We’ll then fast-forward to the Renaissance, crossing the Tiber to Vatican City and marvel at the massive basilica dedicated to St. Peter. We’ll lose ourselves in the Vatican’s extensive collection of artistic masterpieces from the ancient world to the present day, culminating with a look at Michelangelo’s elaborate ceiling frescos in the Sistine Chapel. We’ll stroll down the Tiber and venture slightly off the beaten bath to Trastevere, one of Rome’s hippest neighborhoods, to see the local Romans in action and indulge in some of the best food in the city, including fresh homemade pizzas and pasta “al taglio.” We’ll shop on the famous Via del Corso, toss a coin over our shoulders into the Trevi Fountain, and hang out on the Spanish Steps where we’ll enjoy a classic Roman night of people-watching and simply relaxing in the summer air on a beautiful piazza.
DAYS 7 – 9: BARCELONA
Next we’ll hop on a quick flight towards one of the most happening cities in the Mediterranean for good times on the beach, tapas and paella, and an unforgettable stroll on La Rambla. We’ll see Gaudi’s architectural masterpieces, such as the breathtaking Sagrada Familia Basilica – still being built after 130 years! We’ll visit the whimsical and playful Parc Guell, full of color and dreamlike structures, and take a Spanish cooking class where we’ll learn how to cook our own mouthwatering paella. Our Barcelona bike tour will whisk us through the city’s hip neighborhoods and down its bustling beachside boardwalk. We’ll also be enchanted by the music and dance at a traditional flamenco show. Of course, no trip to Barcelona would be complete without catching some rays on the beach and shopping at some of the most lively outdoor markets and trendy shops in Europe!
DAYS 10 – 12: PARIS
Our final destination is Paris, the renowned City of Light. Here, we will stay in the Marais, one of Paris’s most beautiful and historic neighborhoods. We’ll visit the Louvre – the world’s largest art collection and home to da Vinci’s beguiling Mona Lisa – and enjoy an afternoon of shopping along the Champs Elyées, where boutiques from the world’s best designers line the wide boulevards. We’ll climb the Eiffel Tower, enjoy a sunset cruise along the Seine, and take in spectacular views of the city from atop the Arc de Triomphe. You can also choose to visit the Centre Pompidou or the Musée d’Orsay, both home to sublime artistic masterpieces. Wander the winding streets of Montmartre, once the city’s artistic center and home to the famed Moulin Rouge. Finally, you can choose to visit the Sun King’s palace at Versailles, the site of so many of history’s most important moments, and an impressive sight to behold! The baguettes, escargot, and fondue will be plentiful as we wrap up this program of a lifetime and fall in love with Paris!
WHAT KIND OF TEEN TYPICALLY PARTICIPATES IN THIS PROGRAM? WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO JOIN?
We have teens join this program from all over the world! They are typically culturally curious teens who are excited about making new friends, stepping out of their comfort zone, expanding their horizons, and trying something new.
This program is only for students who are currently in 9th and 10th grade and approximately 14-16 years old. Students living outside of the USA are welcome to join!
WHERE DO WE STAY?
Our hotels are specifically chosen to be in safe areas and well-suited to facilitating group supervision. We stay in centrally located accommodations, usually within walking distance of the main attractions. This means we do not use large, impersonal chain hotels on the outskirts of cities. We prefer to select smaller, family run hotels where we establish personal relationships with the owners.
In Florence we stay a short distance from the Duomo. In Rome we stay at an elegant hotel near the central Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore, close to the city center and the main train station. In Barcelona we stay in the heart of the Gothic Quarter in the most centrally located area of the city. Finally, in Paris, our accommodation is in a traditional 14th century mansion in the 4eme arrondissement just minutes from some of the best sights in the City of Light in the Marais neighborhood.
For safety reasons, we do not publish the names of the accommodations we use. We do not feel it is safe to publish the name of a hotel where a group of teenagers is staying abroad. After registering, participants and parents are given access to our secure parent website where you will be able to see the names of all of the accommodations for a program.
DO MOST TRAVELERS GO BY THEMSELVES?
Yes, in fact, over 75% of students who travel with us choose to come independently. This encourages teens to step further outside their comfort zone and make new friends. We believe that one of the most rewarding and exciting elements of travel is the new friendships that are formed along the way. If you travel by yourself, you are bound to make new friends from all over the country and even the world. The best part is, you can travel again with your new BFFs on another TFT program the next summer!
CAN I BRING A FRIEND?
Absolutely! We just ask that if you come with a friend, you and your friend(s) are still open to meeting new people and sharing this special experience with the entire group.
WHAT DO STUDENTS LIKE MOST ABOUT THIS PROGRAM?
Students love that they are able to explore four major European cities in three of the most visited countries in the world. This program allows them to discover the similarities and differences of the unique cultures in Italy, Spain, and France.
WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT THIS PROGRAM?
From an exclusive invitation to a Tuscan villa and winery tour, to a hands-on learning experience at a paella cooking class in Barcelona, and TFT’s sixteen years of expertise in leading teens through Paris, this program provides unique insider access to all four cities.
WHAT IS INCLUDED?
Ground transportation, accommodations, all breakfasts and dinners, chaperones and guides, program-related activities and admissions, taxes and tips.
Not Included (not intended to be an exhaustive list): Airfare, visas and visa application fees, lunches, beverages other than filtered water at meals, activities and admissions not referenced in the itinerary or deemed not program related, such as movies, expenses incurred by the participant that are outside the program description, such as excess baggage fees and damage to hotels, expenses related to unforeseen circumstances, such as transportation strikes and natural disasters, as well as personal and medical expenses.
HOW DO THE OPTIONAL GROUP FLIGHTS WORK?
Upon registration, you will be contacted by our International Logistics Team to discuss this program’s flight details. You are not required to take the group flight, although there are several advantages to doing so. The group flight is chaperoned by TFT staff, it offers an opportunity for the students to get to know each other before the program starts, and we get preferred group flight prices on programs that have group contracts (ask for details). Parents are responsible for arranging for participants to get to the group flight airport. Travel For Teens staff are at the airport, greet arriving participants, and help them get to where the rest of the group has assembled. For more information about Flights, visit our Flights page.
WHO LEADS THE PROGRAM?
The Trip Director for every program is a seasoned teen travel professional with extensive TFT experience. Trip Directors often live or have lived and worked in the destination country. Extensive knowledge of the language and culture of the destination is crucial. Our Senior Counselors are experienced, responsible and fun-loving individuals who our participants can share experiences with and look to for guidance and support. At Travel for Teens we pride ourselves on our rigorous staff application process and the professionalism of our full time and summer staff.
It is the job of the counselors to keep the program fun and exciting, the learning and the laughter in good balance, and to oversee the safety of the participants. Minimum ratios are on average one staff member to every seven participants. Programs may also include one or two Junior Counselors, who are college students with a history of TFT travel, and one or more Counselors in Training (CIT’s) with limited responsibility. CIT’s are not counted in staff-participant ratios.
WHAT ARE THE SAFETY QUALIFICATIONS FOR OUR STAFF?
All of our staff members attend a week-long training session prepare for the upcoming summer and go over safety precautions and protocols. Likewise, every counselor is CPR/First Aid certified and Trip Directors are Lifeguard certified. All staff undergo a rigorous interview process and thorough background check.
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE GROUP SIZE?
Group size is important! A smaller group size provides unique opportunities that a large group cannot accommodate. Think of your favorite local restaurant; could it easily accommodate a group of 50 teens? Probably not! Our group sizes average between 14 to 21 students, which means that we are able to comfortably use local transport, enjoy local restaurants, and have a more authentic experience overall! A smaller group size also eliminates the likelihood of cliques, meaning that our groups all tend to bond as a cohesive unit. We guarantee that you’ll have enough people to meet some new best friends, but not so many that you feel like “just a number” or lost in a crowd.
HOW DOES THIS PROGRAM CONNECT TO OTHER PROGRAMS?
This program can be connected to programs in Europe and North America. At the end of the program, your counselor will escort you to the airport and help you get to your next destination where you will meet up with your new counselors and group.
WHAT IS THE FOOD LIKE ON THIS PROGRAM?
In a word – delicious! At TFT, we believe food should be an integral part of the travel experience and always make an effort to eat at authentic establishments when we can. What better way to immerse yourself in the culture of a place than by sampling the local delicacies, and we encourage students to do so whenever possible! Just as we stay away from Americanized hotel chains, we try to avoid restaurants with menus that cater only to tourists because every good traveler knows the best food is found wherever the locals are eating!
Italian food is all about fresh, simple ingredients. We’ll sample the best of the “three Ps”- pizza, pasta, and panini! Indulging in these Italian specialities for the first time is a life changing experience, and we will be there to document every minute of it as you fall in love with the fresh mozzarella, warm Italian bread, mouth watering prosciutto, and homemade pasta. Don’t forget about gelato! After your time in Italy, no dessert will ever be the same.
The food in Spain can be a variety of styles, but one of the most amazing food traditions to ever exist remains the same throughout the whole country – tapas! Can’t decide on what to order? No problem! With tapas, you can try a little bit of everything. Tapas are small, shared dishes that accumulate to a full meals served in multiple appetizer sized plates. We will also have an opportunity to cook and eat paella in Barcelona, another traditional Spanish dish.
In France, we’ll enjoy classic French café fare, including the world-famous croissants, French bread, and a classic fondue dinner. And for the brave, escargot of course!
We also love to have picnics al fresco, and do this whenever possible, which is a great way to taste some local food while sitting out in the fresh air taking in the sights and sounds of our surroundings.
As always, we are willing and able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten allergies, and other dietary restrictions.
HOW MUCH FREE TIME DO WE GET?
Our counselors are with the group almost always. Everyday we will break up into smaller groups to give our participants some choices and flexibility in their itinerary. At our accommodations, students will have a good amount of free time to enjoy the facilities but will not be able to leave the grounds without one of our staff members. Our time in Barcelona, Rome, Florence, and Paris will be fairly regimented to maximize the activities we can enjoy during our time, however there will be some free time to go shopping in certain areas of the cities and safe pedestrian areas. Additionally, a lifeguard certified counselor will be supervising the students any time that they are involved in water activities.
DO I NEED ANY VACCINATIONS FOR THIS PROGRAM?
We recommend that you check with your family doctor regarding vaccinations and medical advice for the areas you will be visiting. For more information, please check out the World Health Organization’s website www.who.int/en/. After you register, we will provide you with a list of vaccinations you should consider discussing with your child’s family doctor.
WHAT KIND OF VISA DO YOU NEED FOR THIS PROGRAM?
Any US citizen that enters Europe is automatically granted a free 90-day tourist visa. If you are coming from somewhere outside the US, please be sure to check your country specific visa requirements.
DO I NEED TO SPEAK THE LANGUAGE?
No, our skilled staff members will help you get around and even teach you a few fun phrases!